Monday, May 7, 2007

News roundup: What's going on in the 10th

[Photos by Lynn Willis.]

NC's 10th congressional district is on fire. Literally.

The most recent, pictured at right, burned 750 acres in Linville Gorge. It still burns.

Near Blowing Rock last week, 120 acres burned in the national forest around Globe.

Two weeks ago a smaller fire burned 60 acres in Linville Gorge.

104 jobs lost, 160 jobs gained

According to the Hickory Daily Record:
HICKORY -- A Hickory-based sock maker will shed 104 jobs in a second round of layoffs this year.

International Legwear Group will eliminate the jobs at its Hickory and Hildebran locations beginning June 29, according to a document the company filed with the city of Hickory with notification of a layoff.

The cuts come after the company announced its intention to cut 186 jobs in March, April and June. Affected employees have been notified of the move, according to the WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) notice.

Also from the Hickory Daily Record:
HICKORY -- A cost-cutting move at Thomasville Furniture Industries looks like good news for the Greater Hickory Metro, which will gain more than 160 jobs.

Thomasville parent company Furniture Brands International on Friday said it will close three Thomasville plants, consolidating their operations into plants in Hickory and Lenoir.

Closing this summer will be Thomasville’s Plant 3 and Plant 4 upholstery operations, both in Troutman; and its Plant C case goods factory in Thomasville.

The upholstery work will be moved to Plant 9 in Hickory. Case goods work will be moved to Lenoir.

A Thomasville official said approximately 164 workers in Troutman will be offered jobs in Hickory. Thomasville employs about 400 people in the Hickory area.

No jobs will be created in Lenoir, where Thomasville already employs about 650, he said.

Furniture Brands, which also owns Broyhill, Lane, Henredon, Drexel Heritage and Maitland-Smith, said approximately 150 jobs will be cut as a result of the Thomasville plant closings.

As part of the same manufacturing realignment, Furniture Brands said it will eliminate about 80 executive and administrative employees and eliminate approximately 100 manufacturing workers.

Gaston business leader lobbies for parkway funds

In the Charlotte Observer:
Elyse Hillegass, president of the Gaston County Chamber of Commerce, was among a half-dozen business leaders in Washington last week to discuss the region's needs with lawmakers and agency staff.She says her top priority was lobbying for funding for the Garden Parkway, the proposed road between western Mecklenburg County and Catawba.

"It's pretty obvious most of the transportation dollars go to the eastern part of North Carolina," said Hillegass, who was a guest of Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-Cherryville.
NC DOT website for what they call the Gaston County East-West Connector. 2003 announcement of original funding.

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